Hepatitis B is a disease that disproportionately affects the Asian and Pacific Islander communities and other refugee and immigrant communities. To address this issue, a coalition comprised of various stakeholders directly involved in providing hepatitis related care and service to the at-risk communities was created. Formerly known as the WA State Asian Pacific Islander Hepatitis B Task Force (APITF), the Hepatitis B Coalition of Washington (HBCW) was created in 1997. Since 2013, ICHS has assumed the responsibility of leading and maintaining the work of the coalition. The coalition is committed to increasing awareness about hepatitis B in the aforementioned communities.
- INCREASE HEPATITIS B AWARENESS: Increasing awareness about hepatitis B is one of the major functions of the coalition. The coalition achieves these by reminding/educating patients to be screened, reminding providers to offer screenings, continuing to produce culturally appropriate multilingual materials and disseminating them to communities and Posing blogs and educational articles in our website for the public to read. The coalition has also produced “patient Cards”- pocket size cards with written in English and the language a particular patient speaks reminding the provider to test him/her for hepatitis B. Digital stories narrated by patients of their experience with Hep B are also among the powerful tools used to raise awareness.
- INTEGRATE HEPATITIS B INTO PRIMARY CARE: The Coalition also works towards Identifying barriers and challenges to the integration such as lack of funding, limited source of health care for low-income, uninsured/underinsured people testing positive for viral hepatitis, and lack of data systems to adequately and efficiently track services
- INCREASE VACCINATION RATE: Continuing to advocate for viral hepatitis policies
– Continuing to conduct screening and vaccination programs
– Continuing to do media outreach campaigns- press release, radio ads, newspaper articles, videos and digital stories
– Conducting community forums
- INCREASE LINKAGE TO CARE: Identify infected persons in at-risk populations and refer HBsAg-positive persons to care
– Increase the number of persons who follow up on referrals and receive recommended care with the help of patient navigators
– Get more people signed up for ACA
- STRENGTHEN COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT: Expanding to other refugee and immigrant communities within the API and others
– Attend/participate in community events- especially in coalition forums
- STRENGTHEN RELATIONSHIP WITH NATIONAL ORGANIZATION: Continue to collaborate with national agencies such as Hepatitis B Task Force, Hep B United, Association of Asian and Pacific Community Health Organizations (APPCHO) Coalition Against Hepatitis for people of African Origin (CHIPO)